By Zayamu Hassan
Immediate past President of Niger Republic, Mahamadou Issoufou has received the 2020 Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership in a special Leadership Ceremony held during the 2021 Ibrahim Governance Weekend.
The Ibrahim Prize is a US$ 5 million award that recognises and celebrates excellence in African leadership.
President Issoufou was on March 8 announced as the winner of the 2020 Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership.
It ensures that the African continent benefits from the experience and wisdom of exceptional leaders once they have left national office, by enabling them to continue to contribute in other civic roles.
“I was moved and proud to be chosen by the Ibrahim Prize Committee. Through me, all the Nigerien people have been honoured.
“I thank President Festus Mogae and the members of the Prize Committee for choosing my modest person. I salute and congratulate Mo Ibrahim and the Mo Ibrahim Foundation for the comprehensive support they provide to the development of our continent,” President Issoufou said while speaking from Niamey to a global audience via MIF Live.
Outlining the decision to make President Issoufou an Ibrahim Prize Laureate, Chair of the independent Prize Committee and former President of Botswana, Festus Mogae said: “President Issoufou made history in Niger. He paved the way for Niger’s first-ever democratic transition of power.
“His example shows that those who lead, whatever the challenges, can do so with the greatest reverence for both the citizens they serve and the rule of law.”
While congratulating the former Niger president, President of Niger Republic, Bazoum Mohamed, said: “During his 10 years in office, President Issoufou remarkably stabilised the institutions of our Republic, strengthened the foundations of our economy, brought about a reduction in poverty, and provided real opportunities for the future of his country.
“I would like to say to the members of the Ibrahim Prize Committee that, in addition to the qualities that you have identified through his governance and leadership, President Issoufou’s moral and human qualities also make him an exceptional man.”
President Mahamadou Issoufou joins President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia (2017), President Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia (2014), President Pedro Pires of Cabo Verde (2011), President Festus Mogae of Botswana (2008) and President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique (2007) as an Ibrahim Prize Laureate. President Nelson Mandela was made the inaugural Honorary Laureate in 2007.